"If you want me to stop, tell me now."
He is inches away and she can feel his breath tickling her skin. The air seems hotter than it was before, almost un-breathable. She licks her lips to moisten them. She can almost feel the texture of his. She can feel her stomach fluttering wildly and she knows she is trembling with anticipation.
"No one's asking you to." she whispers against him, allowing his lips to finally meet hers in a struggle with morality that she is quickly losing. She isn't sure if she's surprised that he tastes the way he does. She isn't even sure if she's surprised at the feel of his lips. She'd imagined them so many times since she had met him.
She wasn't ready to fit so well against him. She hadn't anticipated feeling as though he was an extension to her body. She needs him more then she has needed anyone before in all of her life.
Her lips continue to press against his in quiet desperation. She wants to tell him that if he stops she'll stop breathing. But she doesn't tell him because unsurprisingly, he seems to know.
They rock together in a slow dance, coaxed along by the deep voice of the jazz musician on the kitchen radio.
She feels nauseous, overwhelmed and at the same time she just wants to be absorbed by his body. She isn't sure what makes her do it, but she takes him by the hand and tries to guide him upstairs.
As she reaches the bottom step, she sees the stain in the wood from where her husband had rested the oil can years ago. The ring is still there, catching her attention and causing her stomach to flip over itself. What is she doing?
She knows what she is doing. She is going to make love to Robert. She is going to take Robert to her husband's bed and make love with him in a way that she never had with Richard. She feels sick suddenly, as though the world is spinning wildly out of her control and all she is certain of is that she wants Robert more then she has ever wanted anything in her life.
Robert seems to sense what she's feeling and squeezes her hand within his, "We don't have to do this, Francesca. Not there."
She feels the muscles in her heart unclenching and she relaxes as she slowly turns to face him. He is smiling, the creases near his eyes gathering in a way that makes her heart beat faster. He is understanding. He knows her better than anyone else in the world.
She remembers last night, at roughly this time. He had turned to her and said, "You are anything but a simple woman." Tonight she understands exactly what he means. Every vein in her body is pulsing with life and she is so sensitive to the touch that even his thumb tracing lazy circles on her palm is making her feel alive.
He threads his fingers with hers and Francesca lets herself be drawn away from the stairs. They stare into each other's eyes for what seems like eternity, memorizing each and every feature as if it is the last time they will do so. It feels as though everything is changing, and neither of them wants to think of the repercussions.
They've passed the point of no return. They have fallen in a love so deep and exhilarating that they are no longer two separate people. Love making seems an afterthought to the passion they already share.
She can feel his hands gliding over the curve of her hips, up her ribcage and along her back.
"May I?" he asks, as he looks into her eyes. Francesca smiles shyly and nods her head.
His fingers don't fumble, they find the zipper immediately and he guides it down the row of teeth that brushes elegantly down the length of her spine.
Breath expels from her lips and she tries to stop herself from trembling as she moves her hands up his chest. She can feel the muscles beneath. She remembers yesterday when she'd watched him from the window, and admired the way the water glistened against his skin.
She'd felt embarrassed then for looking. She knew it was wrong but she hadn't stopped. But now that small amount or regret seems unimportant. The lines between right and wrong have been blurred. There are no judgments between them and Francesca knows that something this beautiful can't be wrong.
As he slides the dress down her shoulders she knows that she had bought this dress with this exact moment in mind. She wanted him to take it off of her, to slide it down her body like a garter down a young bride's leg.
She can feel her cheeks growing red as he looks at her exposed flesh. She feels more beautiful then she has ever felt. He leans forward and places soothing kisses along her collar, down her chest to the curve of her breasts that are still encased in a silky bra.
Her hands move to his head and weave into the salt and pepper strands and she can feel his tongue tracing her collarbone as the dress finally gives way and falls to the floor beneath their feet.
She begins to unbutton his shirt but her fingers are trembling too badly to slip the small disks through the linen holes. He understands as he always does and he stills her hand before unbuttoning his own shirt and dropping it to the floor.
He pulls her into an embrace and Francesca can't believe how wonderful it feels to have his skin against hers. She feels the want building within and reaches her hands behind her back in an attempt to remove the unwanted barrier between them. Robert stops her with a gentle caress on her forearms and he places a kiss behind her ear.
She can feel his fingers replacing hers, and then the release of the fabric as it is guided down her arms and discarded on top of his shirt. His eyes roam across her skin again and Francesca's eyes glaze over as his tongue wets his lips.
She hears the gentle whine of a saxophone from the radio and it coaxes her to her knees before him.
Her heart is thundering loudly but she can't hear it over the music encasing them. Her fingers unbutton his pants more skillfully then she had managed the shirt. She can feel him watching her and it gives her the confidence to pull the material down his legs. He slips out of his shoes and moves them away, his pants following closely behind.
Francesca can see him through the thin boxer shorts he is wearing, and she remembers the way it felt against her stomach when they had been dancing, his desire preceding their actions.
Her fingers guide up his thighs towards the waist band, but Robert's hands stop her yet again and he holds her hands within his much larger ones as he lowers himself to his knees.
They stare into each other's eyes again, only this time he splays a hand across her back and lays her down slowly against the linoleum floor.
She can feel him moving her legs into a more comfortable position as he removes her sandals and tosses them away.
His eyes roam over her body and she watches him shyly, her hands reaching out towards him to pull him down on top of her. He is careful with her and more patient then Richard. He seems mesmerized by her and it makes her feel as though they have always been meant for each other.
Their lips meet again, and mold against one another passionately. Her tongue parts his lips and she moans softly as she feels his against it.
She isn't sure when they had lost the remaining pieces of their clothes - but they are both naked now, the lengths of their bodies pressed completely together.
Her heart is racing so quickly and her breath is making her chest rise and fall beneath him. She feels the desire building up in her, the ache between her thighs almost painful. She quickly reaches down towards him and he captures her hand.
She gasps and he slowly moves her hand upwards so that it rests with his between their beating hearts. He looks down into her eyes and she looks back at him. The rest of the world seems to melt away and then she feels his hips roll against hers as he enters her.
Her eyes widen and then flutter closed in ecstasy. She parts her thighs, her knees pressing into his sides as he moves slowly, exquisitely between them.
"Look at me, Francesca." He whispers and Francesca can't help but obey. Her eyes meet his again, and she is almost blinded by the love and passion displayed, unrestrained within.
His hips undulate against hers and she can feel her shoulder blades sticking to the linoleum. She is aching for release, wanting him more than life necessitates. It is a quick build and it doesn't seem long before their breaths become shallow and strained. Faintly she is aware that she is moaning, and sighing and gasping beneath him and that he is doing the same above her.
Their passion reaches a frenzy and Francesca can feel her release as she tips over the pinnacle and contracts around him. In the flash of a second she is transported to all of the places he has been. To Italy and Africa and along the Serengeti. He moans loudly in her ear and catches himself before he collapses upon her.
He doesn't pull away from her, but rolls them both gently to their sides. Her knee stays hooked around his hip and he stays inside of her, as their breathing starts to slow. Their bodies are slick with sweat and Francesca wants to hold on to the feeling for the rest of her life.
They have always been destined to come together in exactly this way. They are on the floor of an old farmhouse in Iowa, bathed in a dim glow. They are alone, they have each other and it might as well be the end of the world.
On the old kitchen radio, the low voice finishes its song.
"I can't erase your beautiful face before me."
Truer words, for Francesca and Robert, have never been spoken.